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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

GPSC general elections open, candidates run unopposed

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Ryan revock/arizona Daily Wildcat

Heath Vescovi-Chiordi, GPSC elections director, is the first fulltime director.

Elections for the Graduate and Professional Student Council will kick off today and will last throughout the week.

Students can vote in the election starting at 9 a.m. today, with the polls closing Friday at 11 p.m.

This year’s elections have candidates running unopposed for both positions of president and vice president. Potential candidates became eligible to run for office by obtaining signatures in accordance with the rules of the election, according to Heath Vescovi-Chiordi,GPSC elections director and public administration graduate student. Potential candidates for representative at-large had to receive 10 signatures of graduate or professional students outside their prospective college and representatives for specific colleges had to receive 10 signatures from within that college.

This was the first year that GPSC had Vescovi-Chiordi serving as a fulltime elections director.

“This time around, now that they have a dedicated elections director and fulltime program coordinator, we were able to put much more attention on it [GPSC elections],” Vescovi-Chiordi said. “And comparatively to what I know with the last election, we have actually made great strides.”

There will be special elections in September for the positions that are not filled during this election. The special elections and the next general elections, according to Vescovi-Chiordi, should run even smoother from lessons learned during this year’s general election.

Current GPSC President Zachary Brooks is running for his second term as president, and current at-large representative Iman Daryaei is running for vice president.

“If elected, I will continue to use direct feedback and needs-analysis to ground my efforts on behalf of the graduate and professional students at the [UA], because that which is measured is improved,” Brooks said, in an email interview. “Through this data-driven advocacy, I will work to raise more money for the GPSC’s Research Grant Program and work on improving GA, TA and RA employee wages and benefits. I will fight tirelessly to broaden the scope of GPSC by increasing the number of graduate and professional students who benefit from our services by at least 10 [percent].”

In GPSC, there are three at-large representatives and representatives for each college. Each college is allotted one representative for every “ … 400 full-time equivalent graduate and professional students … ”, according to the GPSC Constitution.

The elections for the GPSC assembly chairperson, treasurer and secretary will be conducted on the second general council meeting following the general elections, according to the GPSC Elections Code. All representatives will vote in the elections for these positions.

There will be reminder emails sent out at the beginning of the week and later on in the week to remind graduate and professional students that voting is open, Vescovi-Chiordi said. Eligible students can vote for at-large candidates as well as candidates from their own specific college and the candidates for both president and vice president, according to Vescovi-Chiordi.

“There is obvious definition about what we want to do and what we want to achieve and I think we have established a really good basis for it,” Vescovi-Chiordi said. “And we are just hoping to keep expanding on it and making sure we that we create the culture of fairness and working with every college fairly to. We need the equal representation, so there is just a lot more organization this time around. It is a lot more gratifying at the same time.”

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